A wonderful evening of fashion, fizz and canapes was held on
2 May at the Melling Institute. Facilitated by RENES of LANCASTER we were treated to a full catwalk presentation of RENES current range of summer fashions. Tiffany and Amanda from RENES, along with their delightful models, are to be congratulated on their wonderful catwalk show and thanked for all their hard work to make the event such a success.
The event was held to raise funds for St John's Hospice, with proceeds from ticket sales, a raffle and donation bucket all combining to raise almost £1300 for the Hospice funds.
We were delighted to welcome Sue McGraw, Chief Executive of St John's Hospice to the event and heard her moving words about the work of the Hospice and their fund raising efforts. it is sad to relate that only approximately one third of Hospice funding comes from the state.
On 18 May representatives of the Melling Institute Committee accompanied Tiffany and Amanda to the Hospice to present a 'giant' cheque.
Melling with Wrayton Parish Council
Herewith the Chair's Report at the Annual General Meeting of Melling with Wrayton Parish Council
held on 16 May 2018
The past year
After almost ten years of service to Melling-with-Wrayton, Steve Loy stood down in December as our Parish Clerk (see the Melling Chronicle 48/10, November 2017). The Parish Council, and its successive chairs, have many reasons to be grateful to Steve for his steady support and advice. Steve built up a wide range of local and regional contacts, which it will be important for us to maintain or re-establish. At our meeting in December, we welcomed Gill Mason as our new Parish Clerk. With her wide experience in this role in other parishes, Gill is capably helping us to fulfil our remit as the third tier of local government (county, city, civil parish) under the Localism Act of 2012.
We wish to thank the Melling Institute Management Committee, including councillors Gerda Southwell and Mary Jackson, for providing another year of lively events and activities, making good use of the refurbished Institute, with its recently-installed staging facilities.
We have been pleased to note the ongoing increase in primary and pre-school enrolments at St Wilfrid’s School, where Councillor Jackson is a foundation Governor. Repairs and welcome improvements have been made to the school community playground.
We wish to thank Marie Baker, Editor of the Melling Chronicle, and the team of volunteer distributors, for putting together and delivering this essential link between us all. Following the ending of the previous arrangement with Wennington Hall School, the Chronicle is now printed by a company specialising in printing parish magazines. We thank all advertisers in the Chronicle for their support, which makes an invaluable contribution towards the increased costs of printing.
We wish to thank Paul Williams, our Lengthsman, for another year of dedicated work on maintaining and improving the appearance and amenities of our parish. The severe weather events early in 2018 brought problems of water runoff and flash flooding in both Wrayton and Melling. Following his successful bid to the Woodlands Trust, Paul has made good progress with planting hundreds of saplings at the top end of the Green. We urge residents to go and see for themselves what has been done so far, and to suggest to the Parish Council other possible sites for replanting the remainder of the 420 saplings. The Parish Council’s intention is to plant some of these at intervals along the bottom of the Green, once we have secured the go-ahead from Natural England.
In St Wilfrid’s Church, the sacrifice of six local men in World War One is commemorated on a plaque which has recently been restored by Ged Kelbrick and Lester Griffiths. Thanks to Ged’s work in researching the biographical and military details of these men, their stories can be found by following the links from ‘Melling’s history’ on the parish website.
Flooding continues to be a concern in both Melling and Wrayton. Waterlogged ground, blocked drains and culverts and the likelihood of more frequent and more extreme weather events, all mean that your Parish Council has to make additional financial provision for preventative and restorative works.
Road safety on the A683 and on Lodge Lane continues to be a matter of concern for the Parish Council. The speed indicating device (SpID) which we purchased appears to have some moderating effect on drivers’ speed. However, the battery in the SpID has to be taken out and recharged frequently (especially when used on the A683), and we cannot expect or afford our Lengthsman to be in sole charge of this job, in addition to his normal duties. Our appeal in a recent Melling Chronicle for volunteers to help with recharging the battery has, alas, elicited no response; this means that we are not making the best use of the money the Parish Council expended on the SpID.
Parking on the A683 at the foot of the Green continues to cause unsightly damage. Vehicles parked wholly on the footway constitute an obstruction for pedestrians: anyone who has been obstructed in this way is at liberty to report the incident to the police; in the absence of such reports, it is unlikely that the police will take action. Contrary to advice we have received in the past, we now understand that it is acceptable for vehicles to be parked partly on the roadway and partly on the footway, if this does not obstruct the footway.
Those who have lived for many years in our parish know that there have been many improvements to the appearance of its buildings, and to gardens and open spaces. In common with all the rural parishes in the Lancaster City area, Melling-with-Wrayton has the opportunity to discuss and prepare a Neighbourhood Plan: see MC 48/4 (May 2017), p.2. For example, our neighbouring parish in Wennington has recently submitted its draft plan for approval by the City Council. In Melling-with-Wrayton, a small working group has met to consider next steps, and has distributed a brief preliminary questionnaire to all households. Responses to this questionnaire have been disappointingly few. The working group will meet in the next few weeks to consider where we go from here.
St Wilfrid’s Church is part of our past and our present; if we want it to be part of our future, we have to ‘own’ it, and support it in whichever way we think appropriate. Last year, the Parish Council offered to make a one-off grant to the St Wilfrid’s Buildings Trust; it is intended that this grant, with matching funds from the Trust, will enable some much-needed work to be done to the fabric of the church, for example the West Door.
In conclusion, I wish to thank parish councillors for their co-operation and good humour throughout this year of changes.
David Nott - Chair, Melling with Wrayton Parish Council
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